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Obama 12, John Mccain 7, Us 6, Romney 6, Sec 5, Washington 5, Mccain 4, Stephen Colbert 4, New America 3, Eagleton 3, Feingold 2, Trevor 2, Michael Scherer 2, Katherine Mangu-ward 2, Jeffrey Pollack 2, California 2, Maggie 2, New York 2, Islam 2, Mitt Romney 2,
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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    October 6, 2012
    2:00 - 3:52pm EDT  

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study of state standards a number of years ago and found that religion is now treated there. and do not think it is serious treatment yeah. it is still superficial. i think the religious literacy problem has not been resolved. i was at a conference yesterday of many groups interested in religious liberty -- literacy, and we all agreed it was a serious issue. if we're going to treat each other well in this country, we have to know more about each other. do not understand our neighbors, we will not be able to live well together in the future. we have got to do better. there is only one required religion course in the united states in the public schools, and that is in modesto, california. i helped them get that going after a conflict they had. they have done really well with
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that. all ninth graders take a of world religions. it has been fined. -- fine. there are many world religion electives now. they are the exception. they're not many districts have world religion electives. but the core curriculum, where we need more natural inclusion of teaching about religion, is a tougher nut to crack because of time constraints, because of the issues of teachers not being prepared to teach about religion. we have to address the core curriculum, including more about how religions are part of society and the role of religion. wewe have come a long way in 20 years, but i think we've still
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got a lot of work to do. >> do you want to add to that quickly? >> quickly, i do not think the establishment clause has been the cause of this. i think there is a religious literacy problem in the country. i think the establishment clause has helped. i think it would be worse if it were not the case. americans' lack literacy in a great many areas, religion being one of them, so i think there's a lot we have to do on the education front. >> i just wanted to disagree. i write a syndicated column on ethics and religion. you said same-sex marriage is inevitable in united states. 32 states have voted on it and every time have voted it down. four more states voting on it this fall. in every case, where the real ballot matters when people go to vote, they vote it down. they do not want same-sex marriage, and it does impinge on religious freedom. in new hampshire, for example, a
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bed-and-breakfast run by a catholic couple refused to allow a lesbian couple to have a wedding reception at the facility and suggested some other places they could go and have it where there was not an objection, but they decided to sue, and they won their suit. the couple had to pay $30,000 in fines, and they were told they had to open their facility to all marriages, whether they liked it or not, so they decided no more wedding receptions. they were fined, and they lost a source of major income to them. i do not know how you can say this is not a religious freedom issue. >> i did not say that. i think it is a very important religious freedom issue. >> you say it is inevitable -- >> that is a different point. whether it is inevitable or not, religious freedom has to be, right now, talked about in this battle.
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who wins and who loses -- i am not a prophet. i am just saying the demographics suggest that i am right. when the younger generation comes along, who have a very different view of this than current voters do, it is going to change, i think. spain now has same-sex marriage, for god's sake. i think this is inevitable in our country, but even if it is not, i do not disagree that this is certainly a challenge to people now on their religious freedom grounds. i think the issue is how we help protect as much as we can religious freedom without, however, compromising the rights of people who should have the right, you know, to be treated with the same dignity and respect as other people. >> david gibson, religion news service. thanks very much for this informative panel. i am very struck how you all
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singing from the same hymn book in terms of the principles of religious freedom, and yet, you can find yourselves on opposite sides of the debate or in court, even, and things like that when it comes to the application. there's always a sense of religious freedom is this one particular thing, and yet, people who agree on it can be complete adversaries when it comes to the, as we say in the church, pastoral application of it. i wondered if you could comment on that and also maybe get into the weeds as well. the weeds for us right now is the contraception mandate. what is going to happen in that -- in the court cases that are inevitably coming out of the mandate already if it stands, if the obama administration does not change it? the issue is the definition of
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religious institutions, but there is also the so-called top of bell issue -- taco bell issue of individual conscience of business owners. what will happen in your respective views? thank you very much. >> you have right now more than 30 cases involving more than 80 plaintiffs. in one sense, if the issue does not going for other reasons, one short answer is the case ends up in front of the supreme court. you will have a proliferation of cases and in a variety and outcomes that you will end up with a split. the issue is also of sufficiently great importance. for one reason or another, the supreme court will take of one of the cases at some point. it will probably not be this coming term. it may not be the term after, but there is a chance -- it will certainly be the term after that if not. my own prediction, as part of the reason i'm enthusiastic
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about the suits, is that i think the plaintiffs will win on the merits. i think courts are going to be more inclined to reach the statutory question first and not get into the additional questions about -- thank you, charles -- i referenced the religious freedom restoration act. it was a law passed virtually unanimously by congress, signed by president clinton in 1993 in order to restore the scope of religious freedom that had existed. it was struck down as applied to the states in 1997 but still applied to the federal government. i think we have already had two earlier decisions from district court on the merits of that, both of them involving private for-profit plaintiffs, and the issue is split just among those first two courts.
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there are procedural issues because of the ongoing regulatory process that might create a sort of interim step, but that actually is probably going to get resolved between now and august 1, 2013. the administrative process will be done, and the courts will invariably go straight to the merits, and you will start to get married decisions uniformly by the end of next year. >> does that depend on what the administration does and who wins and all that? >> not really. what the administration has put into play by virtue of the regulatory process is a relatively limited piece of the entire problem, and the constraints put upon themselves in addressing the limited issue indicates that there will not be much if any relief in the offing for the people who have sued, and that is why they have sued -- they basically are reading
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the writing on the wall -- actually, the right thing at the federal register -- the riding -- the writing at the federal register. >> i would like to briefly way in. >> we have four minutes left on this entire thing, so let's see if you can do it quick and get to another thing. >> understood. my prediction is the opposite. i think that ultimately, these regulations will be upheld. one of the reasons is while religious liberty is vitally important, it is not absolute. it does not give you the right to harm others or impose your face on others, and, as an dimension -- it does not give you the right to harm others or impose your faith on others. i think the religiously affiliated institutions are the ones who will be addressed by
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the accommodation that anthony referred to. there will be questioned about whether that accommodation goes far enough for them, but i think it will be such that the harm that they claim will be quite attenuated. the other set of plaintiffs are for-profit plaintiffs, and i think there is a real danger -- a slippery slope -- if you allow for-profit businesses to claim religious liberty rights to get out of a regulation that they do not like. that will open the door to all sorts of exemptions for for- profit businesses to labor laws, other anti-discrimination laws that i think the courts will not be inclined to go that far. >> thank you. >> you have talked a lot about religion and schools. i wonder if any of you have opinions on the new york city school worship ban, which deals with off-hours churches and other religious groups meeting in those schools for worship. >> i am against it.
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>> i am, too, and i cannot understand it. this is just a personal comment, but it is bizarre to me that new york has dug his heels in and giving access to facilities on the same basis to religious groups that they do to other groups, and trying to focus on worship -- it is not talking about religion and just keeps on going. i should of thought they would have given up on that a long time ago. i do think it is a very bad idea. >> i think they have the constitutional authority, the city does, to do what it did. there is room for play where government can act to avoid establishment clause problems, and a thing that is what they did there. >> okay, last question. >> davis question on the mandate covered mine, so i will ask a follow-up on this -- new york is also where you did not have any
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religious representation at the 10th anniversary of the september 11 memorial service. are we getting to a point where we are so pluralistic religious lee that the only way to accommodate everyone is to be silent and have no religion in the public square? >> i should hope not. i should hope that the response to the diversity is let 1000 flowers bloom. >> i hope not, and i do not think that is actually happening at all. we have to be careful not to conflate what the public square is with what the government is doing. i think religion is alive and well and religious expression is alive and well in a public square. i think it is perfectly appropriate for governments to be careful not to align themselves with one faith or another. >> one of the things we did not mention much, which is the biggest free exercise challenge in the country today, not so
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much from government but from the population, is the anti- muslim activity. i just want to make sure that i promote -- we are having a press conference next thursday at the national press club at 9:30, and i hope some of you will be able to attend or to follow this, and we will release, "what is the truth about american muslims: questions and answers." it is supported by the interfaith alliance and 20-some other groups, rabbis for human rights north america, a presbyterian church, southern poverty law center, united church of christ, united methodist church -- lots of folks trying to finally counter in a brief and we hope effective way some of the propaganda and demonization that is going on about american muslims and islam in the united states. i am sure it will raise a lot of questions, but we have got to
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try to -- i believe in the name of religious freedom -- stand up and say, "here is the more accurate information than what you are getting, not only about religious freedom for all people including american muslims, but also about some of the things that have been characterized as islam that are simply wrong. >> thank you very much. thank you all for being on this panel. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the new america foundation hosted an event this week examining how corporate money is affecting the presidential and congressional races this year. speakers at this event include former ftc commissioner and chairman trevor potter, "time"
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magazine's michael scherer. it is 90 minutes. >> good morning and welcome to the new america foundation. my name is mark schmitte. --schmitt, and i am a senior fellow at the new america foundation. we have pulled together a good panel on what is really going on with money and politics in 2012. we call it "beyond sticker shock," because the idea is to get just the basic idea of that it is a big amount of money. when i first got involved in this issue of in 1996, i was working on the hill. i remember writing this whole session.
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that begins to seem like the line from dr. evil's demand for $1 million. we are going to do a couple of brief presentations and then an open ended presentation. the first will be michael scherer to give us the landscape of this. i will run their some of the questions we might want to be asking. we will do that pretty quickly. then we will be joined by trevor potter, katherine mangu-ward. many of us have known trevor for many years. katherine mangu-ward is a fellow here. hopefully in addition to
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moderating she will also provide some provocation which is always useful. toh no more do, i'm going thank you for coming in turn it over to michael. >> i am the one who knew trevor when he was a lawyer for john mccain which i thought was a very important job. nothing like being a lawyer for stephen colbert. maybe one day i can say i work for comedy central, too. i want to give you a brief overview. this is a graphic we ran in "time" magazine at the end of july, we are trying our best to project with the money would come from and what the differences would be in terms of the various sides. the point we're trying to make, one that there is a real difference in political money strategy that they are employing the cycle.
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the obama campaign is heavily reliant on small dollars, regu under $2,500 from individuals. the campaign has total control over and can spend as they want. th usa whie we sangaybe millearlier. since then, the super pak sets and in a huge wave is sumner. when romney wins, he does not have the money he needs to compete with obama. he relied heavily on super pacs to do is advertising. this is not technically coordinated advertising. trevor can get into the realities there. it had some obvious positive affect in holding parity with the president as he issued a blistering attack against romney this summer.
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it has shown to have clear weaknesses. both campaigns will tell you this. the super pac did not follow a simple narrative might be obama advertising did. the obama campaign built a story line starting in april that tried to portray mitt romney as a certain type of person and then they presented it as the months went on new evidence. there is the offshore tax havens, etc., and they built this story line in a swing state. the super pacs operating independently were not able to build that. you have situations in which two different super pacs would have conflicting add in the same market supporting mitt romney. one would say that barack obama is a really nice guy but he
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could not get the job done. in the next commercial break you have an ad that says barack obama was never a nice guy, he is a radical socialist lunatic who's trying to take your job. the more money did not feed into a larger narrative in a way that i think the romney campaign would have preferred. a second reason why it is less effective now is under sec rules, the super pac campaign are able to get lowest available rate for their advertising right now. super pacs are not allowed to do that. they are spending far more, sometimes three times as much, and to get the same money. did the third reason i think
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you're seeing things less effective, in the last month or two, obama's citizens are waking up and spending more dollars. a bunch of people were coming at the last minute. we have not really seen that. the small dollar fund-raising model has been able to expand nicely for obama toward the end. romney has had to spend a good fortune in september going to fund-raisers trying to collect these $2,500 checks. he has been very successful. it really was a strategic disadvantage at that time in the race. we can get into some of the other questions here.
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the other thing i would say is that i think there is going to be an interesting political legacy of this election. in all the elections i have covered in 2000 when it was a totally different world, there have always been well the people with large checks putting money into our political system in some way or another. technically, it is not a brand new ball game. the increase the visibility of the super pacs and the way they can raise money and the visibility of these ads were a lot of these money before went into things he did not see on tv has raised this issue profile for the public. he saw the present a few weeks ago saying he would like to explore the possibility of a constitutional amendment.
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when a politician pulls the constitutional amendment card, who sees it as a real political winner for him over the long haul. there's some polling recently that there is concern among republicans. not a lot of people think these checks are good. what we have not seen yet are the real corruption scandals which tend to follow this kind of thing. there is a lot of concern about democrat specifically going into 2016. after what happened in the republican primary, there is a huge barrier to overcome.
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obama was always going to be pretty fine. he is going to be outspent but he is an incumbent sitting president of enormous fund- raising potential. he was not going to be at a huge disadvantage. if you have a bill next time in which both parties are running from the ground up or democrat running against republican incumbent, it is difficult to see how any candidates can really get into the race without having a few very wealthy friends. that really changes the whole way politics is done. he basically need your billionaire or zero hundred millionaire. they may leave this country on the path toward the situation. not as wealthy people will be leaving at $2,500 -- you can get to the $500 checks that the
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numbers keep going up. increasing control over the political process. democrats that i have talked to are interested in provoking a backlash against that. >> i will have the microphone back. >> thank you. that was fantastic. >> i want to set some context here by talking about some of the questions we might ask about how things are really different in 2012. there have always been well the contributors. certainly some things are different. they are not just citizens united. that is part of it. the speech now decision that most directly created super pacs, the absence of roles between campaigns and super pacs is a big part of it.
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they've returned us to a world that on the base looks like the pre-watergate world, a campaign is being supported by relatively small numbers of wealthy individuals. the big difference being that the number is probably six or $7 billion in total. this was before the 70's inflation. it creates a situation where the enormous economic quality we see is reinforced by political inequality. it is not 1% that is giving to campaigns, it is about a 1/5 of the 1% giving to campaigns.
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you really have the potential for economic and political inequality reenforcing themselves and a self perpetuating structure. you have situations where elected officials are going to be wholly dependent on individual donors. that creates all kinds of potential for the public interest to not be served. i have a little paper out front with that title "beyond sticker shock." it tries to ask the questions you want to be asking after the election. once we really began to get the data after the election, these were for journalists and academic researchers about money and politics and for people thinking about the changes you
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do want to make. since 1988 he said candidates do not lose elections. they run out of money cannot get their airplanes off the ground. how was competition affected in congressional races? this is not limited to presidential politics, and we should not just limit it to
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presidential politics. an interesting question would be how would competition affect it in congressional races? were there more competitive candidates as opposed to the massive flow of money? small contributions, were they able to reach the competitiveness. it is not playing the card game of war were you have a higher number and win. at some point extra money is not doing any good. last year the average non- incumbent when the congressional race raised $1.5 million. that is people that won an open seat or defeated an incumbent. how many people reach that level and how many candidates have a shot or overwhelmed by super pacs. how will this money affect polarization? that really does not get talked
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about enough, but clearly that is a big of what is going on in washington. some are much more ideologically driven than the soft money donors of the late 1990's. how does that affect things? these big money air battles tend to create intractable positions. the question would be -- has that affected polarization? that is a much more subtle question than the one above. another interesting question is, the automatic instinct is to go to broadcast ads. there are big costs of politics. it is the only way to reach that person. they're not seeking out political information but they will vote. that is probably less than 5% of the people who will vote and it is probably shrinking. in a base election, getting your vote out becomes more important than getting to that 5%.
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a lot of the money going into the organizations, there is a new organization to make it difficult for people to vote. we need to begin to look to that. those are organizations often operate during a different set of legal rules. we do want to look at how corporations changed their behavior. some people would say exxon mobil is going to put $11 billion into the super pacs, that generally has not happened. corporations have 17% have and most of those are private. it does not matter that much. what have corporations and done? have they become more polarized themselves?
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corporations like to play both sides of the fence. a lot have been at about 60/40 one party or another. aetna is bipartisan on the face of it a partisan in the countries. it is new is that there really are some downsides of putting money into super packs. there used to be considerable downside. you cannot control the message. now you can control the message. getting is you're not the lowest rate, at the fact that the super pacs and not able to buy air time at the same price shows that the romney super pacs were paying six times as much for the same time.
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that is an interesting development. and may make people think differently. do small donors still mattered? clearly. they are still a very significant part of at least the obama campaign. it'll be interesting to see how many congressional candidates are able to build a base of small donors. that extends to what is one of the most interesting areas of reform. can we use that to build reform initiatives that enhance the value of small donors and encourage candidates to sneak out small donors and enhance this for small donors. there was a great system in minnesota that has since been defunded that gave people a voucher for a small credit. a lot of people have moved to thinking it is a really viable
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way of thinking about campaigns. they put out a project of reforming the network campaigns. they are really based on that model. small donors are still a viable way of building a campaign. boosting them could be a valuable way of thinking about reform unless the huge outside money overwhelmed that. that is a question in itself. this lead some people to think you really need a constitutional amendments to change its mind before some of these things can work. that is an empirical question. two last questions that really go to the politics. will campaign finance reform ever be a bipartisan thing?
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it used to be. there was a great legacy before. not only bipartisan but actually representing fairly conservative republicans as well. this is not the case right now. even the disclose act, a lot of conservatives used to say they were disclosure but nothing else. it now has zero republican co- sponsors. it had two in the previous congress. maybe after people realize super pacs are not that powerful, there may be something of the political alignments. does the public actually care about this? i've been around this issue for 15 years. others have been for longer. we have been waiting for people to care. all of a sudden the polling
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suggests the public really does care. the public does not see money in politics as a distraction from the economy. it is the economy. that connection is strong. on the other hand, the public passion may make it harder. to my mind, those are the range of questions that we need to be looking at after the election ends. now what we will do is we will all come up here and katherine will lead this open-ended discussion and stump us. >> thank you for taking us off with 10 million questions to answer. >> just to start out, i think
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we're going to get into some of the nitty gritty of this. we're going to get down and dirty in the finance details. i'm looking forward to that. maybe we could start -- just indulge a libertarian -- talk to me a little bit about free speech. nobody mentioned that in their opening remarks. perfectly reasonable. there has been a macro debate in addition to the real hard money about campaign finance. is it the right kind of speech? indulge me with a little. >> that is the right place to start. we have a supreme court that started in the buckley decision back in the 70's and much more recently in citizens united. they have used the first amendment as a way to disqualify a range of government restraint on both contributions and spending.
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the first thing to say is we are all americans. we all believe in the first amendment. the question is -- what is the first amendment? one of the things i point out when i think about this is all we have a supreme court over the course of the last hundred years which had a whole range of views of what the first amendment required and did not require. it is not a black-and-white question. you had a supreme court which for 35 years after the buckley case said the corporation did not have the same first amendment free-speech rights as individuals. they changed all this doctrine and said that's wrong. but they do. if you added up the number of justices who had voted saying that they did not have those rights appear that those that do, the number who say they don't would be the winner.
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it is not a clear yes or no. the supreme court has made this decision between contributions and expenditures for the first amendment and has said if you stand on the street corner, that is free speech. we know that. if you stand there with an amplified microphone, that is still speech even though you pay for it. they have set back line of logic means an individual and now corp. standing on a street corner are using their money for their own speech, radio ads, it television ads, that is all first amendment free speech. the same individual who turns around and takes the same money can be prevented of getting into the campaign. the court says the first amendment speech there is lesseer. you're taking your money and you're handing it to someone
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else to spend. for them to decide what message they want, therefore it is not really your speech. it is a symbolic sense. of supporting the candidate by giving them your money, but that could be $100 rather than $1 million. the court has said you can limit what individuals give to some other person or entity. what is a super pac? is it your own free speech? is it giving a contribution to this entity where the people decide what is spent? can it therefore be limited? these are all the first amendment questions that we deal with when we get under the 50,000 level of the first amendment. is giving all this money to the super pacs a contribution? i think this is a good argument that it is.
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the reason that this matters is that we have every public, a constitutional form of government or at the end of the day the president and congress have to make decisions on matters. we do not want them being bought off. i think the notion of a democracy is that people get to set policy. not what we would call special interests. other groups would call them oligarchs. i got a call from a german reporter. he said i want to interview about the role of the oligarchs in the election. i thought, wrong country. there is this concept fundamentally that you want a congress that represents the will of the people and is not
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bought off. underlying this is the tension between the first amendment when it comes to spending unlimited money versus corruption and the danger of corruption and people feeling that their government and its policies have been bought by a tiny minority of people who represent a sizable economic interest. >> i yields, i do not want to let libertarians on a person. -- let libertarians on the first amendment. i care about the first amendment as well. it is one reason why i think other voices are very important.
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i think the issue is not just first amendment are no first amendment. it is really an issue of how do we draw the boundaries around an election? that is the real challenge. we've always had electoral exceptional listen. -- exceptional is some -- exceptionalism. we have rules. elections are structured process to me sure that they are fair and people can be heard. we except that contribution limits are a way of balancing that out. what is out there that is really a contribution? you might as well be considered a constitution. -- a contribution directly to the election. and what is an external speech? that was the real issue. what is really all about this?
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the challenge is really defining that the zone. that is what i think it is about. not just do you value this. >> that is a nice analogy. you look at who is in the zone. we have established a constitution that says citizens vote. non-is since do not vote. we were worried about european governments intervening in our new republic. the inner circle is that individual citizens are the ones who vote. if you have a green card, you can contribute to candidates. but not vote. you look at this and say foreigners cannot have a role in our election. the laws say they cannot contribute. you cannot spend money.
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he cannot make an independent expenditure. that is all research to individuals. where are corporations in the middle of all this? they're not individuals. they presumably are not foreigners, although they may be owned by foreign corporations. that line of conversation assumes that the government should have a role in inviting who is in the circle. whether it is has the right to speak or the right to vote. it is to gets to determine who are leaders are. that is what the conversation becomes. >> i wonder if you can talk a little more about, earlier you described this problem for the campaigns of the fragmented narrative. you have many voices and they are independently funded. i thought it sounded kind of great that there are these two models. this is the only store the
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public needs to hear because of the way the money is flowing. it is very specific to how the dollars are moving around. in the other scenario we have a bunch of people hollering. you could say the money makes the voices louder. you give as a purely strategic analysis. i like to bring some of your own judgment to its. is this a good thing for the process of democracy for american? it is clearly a bad thing for the romney campaign in this cycle. >> the romney campaign would say that. if i were to answer the question, it is how well the public is served, be it the issue of corruption.
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as a journalist, there are two things to look for. your first is the lack of transparency. there's tons of money coming into these campaign. there could be wealthy individuals we do not even know on the radar. that is a huge problem. it is a huge problem. if they're adding to the chorus, and they're doing it in a way that fundamentally conceals who is speaking. i do think that is something the public or me as a journalist should be concerned about. i want to know who is trying to push the election. as i understand bids it, the first amendment but up this
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issue of corruption. they say we do not want officials being bribed. the real issue with the super pacs is that the majority opinions says as a statement of fact that if you are a third- party group like the super pac and you're giving money on your own without technical coordination, there is no corruption. it is just not a concern. we are going to rule out that possibility. i do not think the american people would agree with that. i think if you look at the plain facts of the issue, the idea that because someone who is a friend of mitt romney who gives money for any event where mitt romney speaks to a third-party group, to a group that says they will only do what the mitt romney campaign is publicly saying they are going to do in terms of public messaging --
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there and said being a fictional wall between the campaigns and these third-party groups -- their ends up being a fictional wall. the real danger is that the politician who gets elected, because of contributions from one wealthy person, when he gets into office, he either does something that is not necessarily in the public interest but in the interest of repaying that donor, and again, if that happens, i think it is the aesthetic beauty of having lots of people timing in on my television as opposed to just one, probably is less important. >> how do you score that with the claim you made earlier with the idea that some of these big donors are increasingly -- they are in it for the ideology? they are not in it because they want their company to get a tax break. at the very least, we think that we will take as a
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stipulation at this moment in this debate that at least some of these guys who give money are doing it because they believe in this thing. maybe it is starry eyed, but i think it is real, that at least in some cases, it is really not about material considerations. it is not to say that their beliefs do not line up with material considerations, but in this case is, i think it is a little harder to tell a story of corruption. you can still tell a story of influence. you can still tell a story of -- like, the whole point of giving money to a candidate somewhere along the line is to change the way policy is made in this country. that is never going to go away. but what do we do with the guys who aren't saying they like certain pilot -- who are saying they like certain policies and they want you to go with that? >> i think that is a bad example.
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he gave an interview in which he said there was a possibility of federal investigations into him, and he said they are outrageous, false, not true, and he's convinced that if obama is elected, he will pursue them, and is giving money to defend himself -- >> because the real one has already been flogged to death, and it think this is a legitimate question. >> i think sometimes the press gets it wrong in sort of assuming that anybody who gives money is a bad person in it for themselves. that is just the assumption of the narrative. you know, the list of the 10 big bad money people are out to buy the election, right? and the reality is there are very different motivations from very different types of people. there are basically ideological philanthropists who give every year because they are wealthy people. their careers are over.
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they want to do something good in the world. they do not want to do -- they do not want anything back. even if they get a tax break, it is not there motivating factor. the problem is -- how do you distinguish from the outset the one guy from the other guy? i think it is important to try to distinguish one guy from the other, but he clearly has ideological views, philanthropic goals. he also has very real business interests. he also has personal interests possibly. i do not know the state of these investigations, but possibly with federal investigators. i would not know as a policy matter how to say, "if you check the box that says you are really
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just in it for nothing, you can give more money than the guy who works for the payday lenders," which is a more clear-cut case. he is facing a huge regulatory burden. mitt romney has promised that if he is elected, the elizabeth warren plan for payday lending will not go into effect. >> you want to dive in? >> some of this resembles the conversation we had 100 years ago. they thought roosevelt would not enforce these new antitrust laws against them. that was ideological. they did not like william jennings bryan. they probably thought he was a socialist, but their view was that they want their thinking in the white house and in the justice department. was that a business interest? was that a philosophical and ideological interests? after the election, the great line that came out of that was about roosevelt, "we bought the
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son of a bitch," but he just did not say bought. i think if you look back at the supreme court in the citizens united case, what you see is a court that has two very different views over what is happening. we have your view, which is a perfectly, i think, respectable view of aspirational that there will be all these independent groups, and they will be speaking and saying what they want to say, and candidates may like it or dislike it, but it is going be independent and fully disclosed. then you have the minority, which i think you have the reality -- some of the groups
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this year, maybe not all of them, but they are virtually correct. they say, wait a minute, this will be determined by those with legislative interests or those who owned giant corporations. it turns out that is not fully disclosed. and thus, that crosses the line of being corruption. as stevens said in his defense, it is interesting -- when i talk about corporations, i think about international oil bodies. when the majority talks about corporations, they are talking about companies that just happens to be inc.. that goes to michael's question about how do you write an law? >> i was earlier accused of being the hopeful aspirational
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voice, and this is really quite refreshing. i guess what are no interested in -- how hard is it to draw a bright minds? it is modeled. the -- it is muddled. how in some senses is speech and in some senses not. and i would argue, what exactly is the difference when i go in the ballot box and i go purely on my own economic interests. i do not want my taxes to be higher and i want -- i think this guy will make them lower. how is that different than i do not want the taxes on the corporation to be higher. it seems like trying to write these incredibly complex rules that people will just work around. maybe you can say -- what is the
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case, what is the vision? >> let's take a slightly different example. the difference between ideological and self-interested donors. let's say you have some hedge fund donner give a lot of money to obama and 2008 -- donor give a lot of money to obama in 2008. now he has decided that obama hates treasurys so he gives a lot of money to romney. he is still a donor. he has a lot of interest either way. i do not really care about that distinction. and frankly, i actually found it quite shocking to see governor romney in a speech taking a set of positions about the middle east that, to say the least, box him in in a way presidents do
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not usually want to be boxed in. it was a rather tight commitment that mitt romney made with that donor in the front row. i am troubled by that, and i have an argument with a friend of mine. he has other priorities as well. i do not think it matters. you want to create a structure where elected officials are not wholly dependent on a given donor or not largely dependent. you want them to be in a situation where if they are in office and they really want x, y, z, you want the elected officials to go as senator mccain seriously did "get out of my office."
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>> so, there i would make the republican plea for judicial modesty and say, look, the discussion we have had indicates there is not a simple open and shut cancer. -- up and -- open and shut answer. they spent all this time on it and came up with what they thought was an law that would prevent corruption. and then you have five justices saying no, we have a better way to do this. it seems to me when you were in the middle of an area, it is appropriate for the courts to defer to congress, as justice o'connor knew when she was still on the court, as the only justice to had ever been elected to anything or raise money in
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the campaign, the members of the legislature are going to have a better example of what the dangers are of corruption and how to avoid them. >> michael, maybe you can talk a little bit about where you see congress going on this issue. this is certainly something congress is not going to let live forever. and you also mentioned in your remarks, there is all this money. if it flows through the cracks. is used in mysterious ways. what does that mean on the national level legislatively? >> it is a bipartisan issue in congress. in the near term, i do not imagine much will happen. one of the things we have had happened, we have economic populism on both sides of the spectrum against the idea that banks are really getting favorable deals, that the
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wealthy are being treated with a different set of rules. the main street-wall street thing that appeals equally to activists on the right and left, although they come to very different conclusions about what to do about it. not talking about the leadership currently, they argue obviously that you want more disclosure. if that is your concern, as a first up, getting a constitutional amendment or something. sense says -- sen citizens united, we do have a tremendous problem. we have all this dark money. all this money going to political ads. we have no sense of who the donors are. mitt romney has said in one of the republican debates that he would be for in his ideal future
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system, the super pacs would merge with the campaign, but there would be disclosures of people would know and be able to judge and track any concerns about corruption. my guess is that is the place to go to. in this day and age, the sec is a particularly this functional body. that i could tell you more. [laughter] there is no mechanism. and also the disclosure mechanism -- it remains far beyond -- far behind what is possible today. as soon as they are cashing the check, there is no reason that money cannot show up in a database that is posted online. that would be my guess about
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where you go next. whatever the outcome of the election, democrats intend to make this populist appeal. they intend to use -- and this is part of the democratic narrative for years. we are going to help the working guy defeat the flat tax. i think obama said in his interview on reddit that he would pursue a constitutional amendment. he is saying, i will go door-to- door on this and i will make this our rallying cry across the country as a way to get support for my side. you could win people over by that. you could say, these guys are getting taking care of because they used to be -- this election is a little different, but it used to be, just the last two
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cycles, that was the bipartisan cry, right? that is what john mccain ran on to a large extent in 2008. i will get the powers that be in washington to reject special interest in washington. there is our real interest for one party to take this on and use it as a way of mobilizing. >> at the same time as the bipartisan ground has disappeared, it has become a much bigger issue among democrats. not only on the ground. senator feingold was a little bit -- you know, in many ways, that was a miracle. it was quite a political miracle. the democrats controlled congress until 2010. need to have a majority of
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democrats supporting the fair elections now act. and the leadership on that is coming from democrats deeply embedded at the highest levels. i have not really seen that before. so, if democrats were to take that, potentially would have a different situation. republicans would then have to respond. in the past, i think leaders would sometimes say, on one hand, we need campaign finance reform. on the other hand, they know it is a system and they do not really want to mess with it. i think it will be fascinating, as you see people go to congress who have had experience with state level systems that have worked well for them -- i think
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he will begin to see that, just as people have had experience with new york city financing. it has created are really fixed -- significant financial system. the other interesting point -- the push for constitutional amendment helps or does it get in the way? i think it's in the way. -- it gets any way. you are telling people you cannot do anything without a constitutional amendment. the equal rights amendment failed. it is something that need to pass for a lot of good things do happen. >> if you go back and look at the congress 10 years ago when mccain-feingold was passed, the was a great deal of commentary about the fact that congress had become more polarized and centered on the left and right, up with the respect of much of
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the left in the middle. in the early 2000's, john mccain carried 20% of the republican senate caucus with them for mccain-feingold. it passed in the house because a group of moderate republicans voted for it against the wishes of party leadership. those senators who voted for mccain-feingold on the republican side are gone. the party has moved don. it has a vault. -- the party has moved on. it has evolved. if you go back to the leadership in the 1994's, there were perennial discussions about campaign finance. bob dole was the republican leader. he was interested in making sure the republicans got a good deal or at least they did not get a bad deal. he was not opposed to campaign finance reform or legislation.
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in today's world where mitch mcconnell is the senate leader, he has spent years opposing legislation in this area, and trying to shut down regulation we have. that is largely because of senator mcconnell that we have an sec that is deadlocked to this degree and unable to take any action because it takes four votes. there's a two-thirds requirement for the sec to do anything, so we should not be surprised that they don't. having said that, and i think it really is a change, i still hold out hope that after the election and the new congress that they will at least take a look at the disclosure side. the report was crystal clear in citizens united. eight-one, saying disclosure of
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all of this spending, issue ads as well as election ads, wereaign ads, candidate adds unconstitutional. it is a necessary thing. citizen should know who is paying for these ads. corporations should know what they are paying for so they can judge them. that is the problem were have the -- where we have these ads paid for by nonprofits were there is simply no disclosure. it seems to me that scenario where not only have republicans traditionally favored it, not only is it difficult to argue against this closure, not only did the supreme court say it was a good thing and constitutional, but we have a congress that just went through an election with a lot undisclosed money. that may be the situation where the ideology is trumped by the practical reality and the
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candidates are saying, we all need to know where this is coming from. >> back to you -- i think it is easy to agree about the importance of this closure. i think that is why it is important to look at where this is headed in general. there is some value to anonymous political speech, certainly. getting to a place where all speech 90 days before the election, what ever is, however we set up the rules, how will we really know where every dollar of funding for every word comes from? and if we're willing to make exceptions, who gives those exceptions and why? i think traditionally, i know as a member of the media i am always happy to get special treatment of all kinds in all places. we make an exception basically by saying, you know, we declare that large corporations that
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produce newspapers and news -- newspapers and magazines, what ever it is, they can say whatever they want, however they want because the free press is important. but if we are talking about our rule where disclosure is really so complete, where is the unpopular political speech? it may not be inappropriate entity for a corporation. this wacky media made by this wacky group made by this group of people who just want to get their ideas out there. how do we do that? i suspect this said waste here. go ahead. -- i suspect this segues here. go ahead. >> watergate give us the regulatory freedom that we have. -- the regulatory framework that
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we have. there is a reality here. scandals, that raise the attention -- scandals come up the race detention. i am a journalist. i am biased toward more information. i am biased toward the value of anonymous speech in a presidential context. i would want to weigh that value against the value of corruption. my professional bias would suggest the value of being anonymously able to say this guy has been brought into the core -- rotten to the core will almost always be outweighed by the value to the country of knowing who this person is and why they are saying it. there is no clear-cut answer, i agree.
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>> i do not understand why you think there is a value in someone being able to spend millions of dollars anonymously to run an ad saying someone is great or terrible. i understand the value of the ad, that speech. i understand the value of this closure, which is to prevent corruption so voters can decide in context. but it is not clear to me why it would be a good thing for democracy to do that anonymously. >> among other things, unpopular views. which we have many, many reasons to want all kinds of unpopular views to be expressed, especially around elections. i may be a rich guy who does not want to have the pain at cocktail parties or i may be someone who genuinely fears for my public safety or i might be someone who does not want my own reputation to sully the message.
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i think there are plenty of good reasons most people can understand. anyone who has ever written under a pseudonym. >> but those are reasons. i am not sure they are good reasons. as justice salida said about the cocktail party example, more or less, -- justice the lea -- jusitce scalia said about the cocktail party example, more or less. >> you have not been to the same cocktail parties. we are now going to open it to questions. >> hi. thanks for having the forum. can you talk a little bit about the implications of the super pac and also the nonprofits and the non-ballot reasons -- the house and senate races, other races? >> the high water impact on the
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presidential level was at the primaries. the high water impact for the super pac in the general election will be at the house and senate level. the simple reason is you were looking at the numbers we saw up there. virtually billions of dollars are being spent at the presidential level. the super pac will make a difference, but it will not make a difference in the -- it will not make a substantial difference in the house race. in the senate race, they are spending tens of millions of dollars. that may be more than the candidates themselves can spend. you see there is greater evidence of the danger of corruption because of outside groups that, in and they knock someone off -- groups that come in and they knock someone off. then you go to the next
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congress -- and we have seen this in both parties' primaries. they spent enormously in the lugar race. after an election, those super pacs have a great deal of leverage in saying, if you do not want that to happen to you, you better tow the line. >> i do not know if the answer is something to look at -- there is an accountability mechanism in politics using falsehoods or making stuff up in ads are being unnecessarily mean in your ads. for the candidate, there is the reputation cost of doing something wrong or saying something untrue about your opponent. there is a study looking at the presidential super pacs, and her
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conclusion is the super pac ads are less truthful by and large. they are full of factual inaccuracies. their work ads that ran heavily against newt gingrich, saying he had basically supported funding for abortion in china, which was not true. mitt romney was able to stand on stage, and he was able to say i have no idea why that ad is running. i wondered not just the presidential, but on some of these non-ballot races, you have the real potential to move local elections or smart -- smaller elections like that, and because it is coming from the super pac, there is less accountability. it is people for a better tomorrow, not my opponent who is saying it.
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and i wonder at the end of this race when we look back if the ads that run in the final eight weeks, if we do not see some pretty crummy as coming out of these. >> tv stations actually can refuse ads they consider libelous. if they are coming from an outside group. they cannot refuse ads coming from a candidate. >> it almost never do. >> the almost never do. -- they almost never do. >> they are not corporation's. >> that's right peeping that is the other thing. >> again, the libel barrier -- you can go pretty far distorting someone's record or the facts without being libelous. >> implicit in this conversation is a notes worth making an explicit. we are used to races where
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candidates are broadcasting at each other. when i was involved in mccain campaign the last time, there was a lot of press attention to how-john mccain was being. ads.d a survey of aour that was the image they got. we said the obama people were more negative than mccain. he had some much more money. he could run those ads and still run a bunch of positive ads. candidates are genuinely leary they will be seen as too negative. they have the reputation risk and the election risk in their ads. whereas super pac ads do not have the same risk. we do not care what we think of them, and they are 99.9%-.
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it is not 50-50. they are almost 100% negative ads. that is something after the election we need to think about as an effect of this new campaign finance world. the message that the american people are getting full throated is that these people are helpful. >> that is another point about the anonymity of speech. if you allow one person to anonymously sully the debates in a significant way, you know, there is a cost for that. >> these reputation mechanisms while they are not as sharp, they do still stand. if there is a widespread
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perception romney has control over the super pac ads on his behalf, he will be expected to stand on the debate stage and repeat the worst of it. >> that happened several times during the primary stage. romney stood on the stage and said, gosh, gee. >> but the fact that he was asked the question at all. >> right. >> they can not to say anything. >> and there are cases where candidates can come out against ads super pacs made on their behalf. i agree with you. there is a burden for candidates to publicly disavow things that are faults -- that our faults said in their support. i do agree with that. >> not to go on a tangent, but people always worry about campaigns getting more negative. but i always like to cite the
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add about jefferson said he was up perfidious character with neither the strength of a man nor the gentleness of a woman. this is not to say that it would be nice if our campaigns were not nicer. but this has always been part of the political landscape and our democracy. >> absolutely true. the partisans who bought those newspapers were buying either the republican or the federalist paper -- >> it might not have been at the paper. >> that is correct. they knew it was a party or partisan in one way or the other. >the difference today is it is a paper you can read or choose, it takes a relatively small piece of your day to read.
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you take a look at the advertising, particularly in the swing states, and it is increasingly the only advertising on tv. so it is becoming more intensive and evasive and i am not saying the speech is more negative than before. i am just saying, it has an effect post-election and one of these people is going to be the winner. >> there is tons of stuff on daily kos and red state. it is not going to be regulated. plenty of it is anonymous. i think there may be some shift on this -- typically candidates rely on broadcast advertising to get to people who are not seeking out those venues. >> so -- beardy. [laughter]
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there are a couple back their. >> a group that has been -- that has not been discussed our campaign operatives to benefit enormously from this influx of outside money. to what extent does it they're benefiting from this money present a hurdle to a constitutional amendment or some kind of movement to bring more transparency or what have you to the system? >> the committee for responsible tax will start running ads. these people are making money on the net. they are making money on the amount of money on the political stage. i do not think it is the case that they all -- i mean, several of the senior romney strategists would much rather have control of this money than the super pacs have control of this money, if they could. i do not think they, as a group,
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how much lobbying power in washington. the bigger issue is coming even the politicians themselves feel it would be against their interest to restrict super pacs or to allow outside money to come in and maybe unseat them. >> i have always been interested if it is a consultant to push campaigns. you need to be spending this. in virginia, they are not opposition researchers. they always have the media bias. the obama campaign really had to crack down on some of these. in essence, if this work lucrative, they would allocate their spending differently. >> it is just a world of difference between working for a campaign with a budget that has
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trouble making money with a cantankerous candidate who cares how it is spent or why that cost so much versus finding people who will hand you money and you can take the commission's you want, run the ads you want, and we do not report to anybody. is a great world. >> good. >> american crossroads and other super pacs are collecting based on that their reputations. there are various states where people can go and know that the dollar will be spent well and not load them on -- >> gold plated party establishment -- they are the shadow. and that is why they can raise the money. >> [indiscernible] >> hi. dave price. i am just a retiree who has
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plenty of time to come to these things and i really enjoy it. you did take this topic and make it a little clearer. my first question -- talking about corruption, as stephen colbert's attorney, do you think he will take super pac money and finally win against jon stewart after years of losing? here is my question. obviously, it will take time to change when things are so polarized. but with the new technology of the nets, where everybody has access, they can generally addressed this as an offsetting factor. is certainly does not need more money. we know that. but if i can do whatever i want with as many people as i can reach -- that is different again, and i like to quote from jefferson. it does make it different. ben franklin or somebody had to
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set that into print. now you really have an on limited ability to reach as many people who will read it. -- it really does have an unlimited ability to reach as many people who will read. >> the net is different from the newspaper. on the net, in infinite number of people could read your blog post. the difference is no one will come to your blog post unless you put money behind it. there are similar barriers. you could do of viral thing and it could take off. but the candidate, you're printing press is now has valuable as the future printing press because you have access. is a little more difficult. >> i thought you were going to say we took a murky topic and made it murkier.
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[laughter] >> let's think about that. you are not going to reach that swing voter who is not paying attention to politics. what technology does is it makes it possible -- there are some minimill's asking for $3. nobody ever in 1994 asked for $3. it cost just as much -- it is good to know you bought a supporter -- but it cost as much to go back and only ask. you would have one of those male thing says adjusted $75 or something like that. -- one of thosemail things that suggested $75 for something like that. you go again and again and again. it really had a real transformational power.
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it makes it worthwhile to seek small donors. and that is what solutions based on encouraging small donors are really out of the future. >> tell the story for me of why these small donors are ultimately could. that is, if we have $103 donors versus one $300 donor, how was that better for democracy? >> it represents a broader range -- >> these people are voting for obama anyway. this is not changing the vote. >> the candidates to campaign love to have small donors, because they have actually invested their money, ev if it is $3. that makes them much more likely to vote. they have made their investment. and then, the campaign has the
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e-mail and i can urge them to get their neighbors to vote and ask them to volunteer. i think the answer is both the campaign and the democracy -- john mccain used to go on and on about this talking about mccain- feingold. he said, we had millions of dollars of ads in arizona and nothing else. where are the people used to come to the barbeques and knock on doors and go to the polls? i think he is right. that is what you need in a democracy. you want to engage the electorate. the needs to be other things. what you do not want -- you want people to stagger off to the polling booth. >> can i just -- >> >> we have time for one more
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question. he has been so patient. >> i just want to ask a question about the difficulty of reporting on a system that has become so much more complicated in the last eight years, but especially in the last two years. i mean, we see every day 501c4's called super pacs, and that is at the basic level. but even talking about the you talk to501c4's, journalists and they say, how can you say that in 30 seconds? how would you rate the media's reporting of this in general. how can it be improved? is it always lost in the murkiness of the subject? >> the super pacs have a name
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that sounds supercool. when you say501c4, -- when you say 501c4, you have already lost your audience. the media adopt these handles. before, there was still -- there was stealth pacs or dark money. it sounds really cool. i agree with you. it is a huge problem keeping the agencies do not have their act together. given what we have and what we can do, if the sec were a functioning body and work better with the irs and congress weighed in and change the system to simple disclosure -- right now, i depend heavily on overseas contractors to process
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a lot this data. in the end, we need groups like yours to do a lot of this work in between. and a couple other groups to do it as well. and we just have to keep trying. i think the problem is not -- the bigger problem with the media is one we do not distinguish. is not when we explain and people to an ounce. the bigger problem is if you do not make clear there are totally different rules for different set. and some groups are not disclosing. it is a big difference. some groups say there is a pot of several million dollars. >> as an observer, i think it has been impressive in the
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cycle. i think it has been really impressive. the successor at "mother jones" has been really good. the 501c4 story is an unprecedented. i work for a lot of nonprofits. they are supposed to be nonprofit. they are not intended to be used as political vehicles. that is not their primary purpose. the irs is not prepared to suddenly deal with this thing in the nonprofit zone, which is what they are not supposed to be doing. you know, it is a direct violation of the intent of the arelaw of what 501c4's supposed to be. >> i think it is complicated. or reporter was interviewing me and i started talking about 501c4s. he interrupted me and said his goal was not to mention this in
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the article. and that is what stephen colbert is so good. he can mention this, and you will care. >> stephen colbert is awesome. [laughter] all right. thank you for coming. and we can follow up with your questions later on. [applause] >> governor, he said in july someone would have to explain to you what a vice president does every day. maybe this is what was going on at the time. what do you think the vice presidency does? >> that was a lame attempt at a joke. of course we know what of vice- president does. [laughter] >> which one didn't they get? >> of course we know what a vice president does.
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i am thankful that the constitution would allow a bit more authority to be given to the vice president if that vice president would so choose to exert in working with the senate and making sure we are supportive of the president and making sure, too, that our president understands what our strengths are and and john mccain and i have had good conversations about where i would lead with his agenda and that is energy independence in america and reform overall and working with families and children with special needs. and that is a special concern also. in those areas john mccain has taught me and told me that that is where he wants me to lead and i cannot wait to go to work. >> i do not know any government program that john is supporting in education, more money for it. the reason that no child left behind was left behind was the money was left behind. we did not find it.
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with regard to the role of the vice-president, i had a long talk with barack, and let me tell you what barack asked me to do. he has asked me to get things done in the united states senate. john mccain would acknowledge that. i look forward to be in charge of legislative issues for our administration in congress. when i asked for porfolio, my response was no, but barack obama indicated to me that he wanted me to be in the room for virtually every decision. i will give him my best advice. one of the things he said early on was he wanted to pick someone with an independent judgment, would not be afraid to tell him if he disagreed. that is sort of my reputation, as you know. i look forward to working with barack and playing a very constructive role in his
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presidency, bringing the kind of change this country needs. >> we will have more from the 2004 debate tonight along with three other vice presidential debates. watched the 1984 debate with george bush and geraldine ferraro and in 1988, dan quayle and lloyd bentsen. all starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> and today on facebook, we are asking what is your favorite vice presidential debate moment. many of your responses mentioned the jack kennedy moment from the lloyd bentsen-dan quayle the base -- debate. find out what others are saying othersfacebook.com/cspan. and see this election's only vice-presidential debate thursday. vice-president joe biden and paul ryan will meet in kentucky. our live previous starts at 7:00
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p.m. eastern. the debate starts live at 9:00 p.m. eastern. followed by your reaction at 10:30. followed the debate on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> i do think it is a great look at what is happening in washington. it comes back to you and changes your view. it is different from regular media. it is very objective. it is about what is real and what is going on. when the senate and the house votes on different bills, we've watched in the office and when there are reports on hearings. welcome back to the news at noon. i am adrienne bankert. taking a second look at your top stories. different decisions. >> erin mcclusky watches c-span
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on direct tv. c-span brought to you by your television provider. >> a discussion now on campaign finance and super pacs in election 2012 with a group of political strategists and campaign consultants. this was toasted by the eagleton institute of politics at rutgers university and is 19 minutes. -- and is 19 minutes. -- and is 90 minutes. here we go. technology, technology. good evening. i am ruth mandel, the director of politics here at the eagleton institute of politics at rutgers university. this is one of many exciting events we have planned for this fall and i encourage all of you -- i know many of you are students in class, but others of
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you here -- to pick up the fire outside the room with details on our upcoming program -- the flyer outside the room with details on our upcoming program. we will be presenting the nbc political director choctaw the -- chuck todd. don't forget to grab a flier and visit our website. some of you may not know that you are attending a session of of course, a course on political campaigning. that as part of the nielsen institute of politics for more than two decades and it has always been taught by a bipartisan team of political practitioners in collaboration with a political scientist. the course is a perfect example for us of what the institute itself is aimed at. we have aimed for more than half
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a century at studying politics by linking it to the world of political practice, connecting students to the people whose everyday lives and work revolving around government and policy making. and what they hear it is for politics. i don't think i need to tell you that. this is an election-year. there is the usual press and candidates and important issues facing the country. but now an additional focus on the political process that i am told is in a world of unprecedented technology and unprecedented amounts of money. especially in the wake of the supreme court citizens united decision, election-year 2012 is awash in money, nearly drowning in what the late california
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political leader who many, many years ago used to teach it eagleton institute described as described money as "be mother's milk of politics." the political campaigning course you have joined for tonight is remarkable in several ways. it received the highest possible score for student satisfaction, making it one of the top-rated courses here at new brunswick. the credit goes to the instructors, maggie moran -- at the right of the set of chairs, and michael haynes. maggie is a douglas college
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alumni. she is a widely admired and saw after democratic strategist. mike is also erectus -- are rutgers graduate and he took this course himself as an undergraduate. he describes himself as not an outstanding student, but i will leave it to you to judge. we're joined by a highly respected republican strategist. he took over the course from its longtime instructor in 2009 and since then has distinguished self with extraordinary knowledge, with, and civility, especially notable because of their stances at opposite ends of the partisan spectrum. when we decided to highlight the influence of money in this 2012 election, we turn to -- turned
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to mike and maggie, knowing they would keep the discussion informative and lively, but with a minimum of bloodshed. tonight they're joined by two experts working at the epicenter of political money. one of them, he has at rutgers credentials like mike and maggie, having graduated in 2001. the other, and jeffrey pollack, those not have wreckers credentials, but we will not -- rutgers credentials, but we will not hold that against him. i do understand he has new jersey ties. i am delighted to turn the program over. thank you. [applause] >> could evening, rutgers. good evening to all our students. thank you for coming over
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tonight in some pretty intense whether. mike has great judgment. you may be surprised to hear met he married a democrat. i want to introduce you to the guest i invited here tonight, jeffrey pollack. he is saw out by a corporations, governors, senators -- saw out by corporations, governors, senators. he is a tremendous professional who was done a remarkable job. i want to thank him for coming. i think this is a really important political development. jeff is going to be in the movie. i am plugging it so you go out and see it. it is with ryan gosling.
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it is called "the place behind the pines." thank you for coming here and talking to 9. >> we are on the ground floor of your movie career. >> thanks, everybody, for coming. especially to our students. one note -- our class is usually off the record. tonight it is clearly on the record. a little bit different. on the republican side, i have one of the foremost communications professionals in the world of politics and yon -- and beyond. right now he is -- he was the director for television for the national association of broadcasters, working in the same building where he was the
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deputy chief of the staff to patrick mckenna on the hill. he is a lot of experience on the political side. he has a wealth of experience in this election cycle and previous election cycles. >> thank you. [applause] >> so i will try to set the stage for the discussion. we will have a lot of q&a tonight's. would try to use the current election going on -- we try to use the current election going on for the class. there's a lot of discussion about money in politics. this is a different year for money in politics. citizens united has open the door for more outside money coming into the political spectrum. we're going to talk about what does that mean? how does it affect candidates and campaigns?
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obviously, we're going to talk about the presidential election. it is important to note this is not entirely new. different this year, certainly, but not entirely new. it is not the first time we have had outside money. it was not in 2008, 2004. there have always been outside groups. throughout history there and outside groups, groups outside the campaign structure, outside the campaign finance limits of the candidates that advocate for the election or defeat of candidates. the different party committee set different expenditure of clements. the dnc, the current personal -- the congressional committees, as well as groups outside, completely unattached to the candidates. and now with citizens united you happen super pacs. that can be at the presidential level.
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that can be at the senate level, the congressional level. this is really the first year where they have been tremendously and bought. in my opinion, it had a dramatic effect on the republican primary in terms of the expenditures and and who benefited. a lot of people are watching what these gentlemen are doing in trying to figure it out, because there is no playbook. that is kind of an overview of where we are going to go. where one to talk a lot about campaign finance reform and issues. i think we will set the stage by letting each of you gentlemen talk about the projects they are working on this year. >> jeff, we wanted to start with you and understand -- almost no one in this room has a familiarity with these kinds of vehicles. give us a sense of how you work with them as a strategist and a media practitioner. and what is the mission of priorities u.s. said it?
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-- priorities usa? what kind of value does it add to the political spectrum? and can you give an example of an ad? >> thank you for inviting me here to talk. i wish i could say my work was all about the role of super pacs in elections. it is not keeping the supreme court made a strange decision in allowing it to exist. unfortunately, as mike said, this is not in the just the presidential. in the congressional, you up super pacs where one or two folks are getting together and pu

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